Skip to main content

Full text of "The Gay Genius"

See other formats

9                            THE GAY GENIUS

tanat", and there might be two vice-premiers.   The general set-up
was as follows:



Two Councils

(military)    (presi-
dent   and   vice-



(premier and vice-

Three Departments     Six Ministries

(i. Chancellery, or

Premier's Office

2. Imperial Secretariat (i. Civil Service

(chancellor)          2. Interior

3.  Executive   Board I 3. Education

(chancellor)        \ 4. Army

5.  Justice

6.  Public Works

The board of finance was entirely separate, directly responsible to the
emperor. There was an independent imperial censorate, besides the
censors within the three departments, as well as other various boards
and bureaus useful chiefly for conferring nominal titles. Usually the
premier" was concurrently head of the chancellery and of the imperial
secretariat. The heads of the three departments and of the military
privy council together formed the state council and were called state
councillors (chihcheng). Later Shentsung tried to simplify the system
by drastic changes aiming at better-defined functions: the imperial
secretariat was to deliberate, the premier's office (chancellery) to
promulgate, and the executive board to execute government orders;
W Same cronfusio'n and divided responsibility continued to exist,
Wang Anshih was at first only a vice-premier; but, backed by the
hmperor, he went ahead with his programme over everybody's head
and made all decisions at home with Lu Huiching and Tseng Pu. This
seemed an idcaUituation for embroiling the state councillors before the ;
Emperor. The issues were mainly two, the farmers' loans and freedom
ot criticism by the censors. On one side were all the veteran officials,
men of tried ability, constituting a majority so overwhelming as to
suggest unanimity, and on the other, one man, Wang Anshih, backed
by Jimperor Shentsung, and a rather curious conglomeration of new
and unknown petty, ambitious, energetic but scheming politicians. For
convenience of reference, and in order not to encumber the text with
too many names^ the following table of the more important personages